Virginia Community Surprises Returning Wounded Marine
Published : Sunday, 03 Apr 2011, 8:27 AM EDT
BY JOHN HENREHAN/myfoxdc
DALE CITY,Va. - Twenty-seven-year-old Josh Himan wept with gratitude, Saturday, when he returned to his family's home after 18 months of recovery and rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Hundreds of residents of Dale City, Virginia lined the streets and held up homemade signs. 18 police motorcycle officers formed an honor guard. Then, when Josh reached home, he was shown the addition that volunteers constructed in the back of the house. That addition includes a wheelchair-friendly bedroom and bathroom.
An improvised roadside bomb destroyed the Humvee in which Himan was riding in Afghanistan in September of 2009. The Marine Corporal suffered severe spinal damage, among other injuries.
Many people who waved flags at Josh's motorcade on Dale Blvd. have never met the wounded warrior. Linda Gosnell said she came out, "Because it's the right thing to do." Bill Moser, a retired veteran of the Air Force, said he came to salute Himan's sacrifice. "I don't think there's enough people with his courage," explained Moser. "Most people are willing to let somebody else do it."
After telling reporters and supporters he's happy to be back home, Josh Himan grew very quiet. In a whisper, Himan, who had to pause several times, explained, "On the way here with the police [escort], I mentioned to my mom that I was glad to be able to see it. [Glad] that I was alive."
Himan brushed back tears and continued, "There's a lot of guys that didn't get to come home... So, I'm a lucky guy."
Himan joined the Marine Corps after graduating from Radford University. He plans now to earn a masters degree in finance.
And, from Carrie Costantini, who attended the homecoming yesterday, here's an earlier interview with Josh.
We've never forgotten you, Josh. It fills my heart to see how well you're doing. You're a very special young man and I'm sure you have a wonderful future ahead of you! God bless and Semper Fi.